Fall Meeting at University of Pennsylvania

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to join us for this fall’s PWPA meeting on Friday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  Our focus will be on genre-based assignments.   We are also seeking proposals for brief presentations (10-15 minutes) on a genre-based assignment you have taught (see “Call for Proposals” below).  Please RSVP with lunch preference to http://pwpaupenn.rsvpify.com/


10:00-11:15:      Introduction and Genre-Based Assignment Presentations
11:15-12:15:      Luncheon Speaker:  Anis Bawarshi
12:30-1:00         Workshop/Breakout Groups
1:00-2:00:          Presentation of workshop findings and general discussion

2:00:                   PWPA Meeting


We’ll begin the session with a series of brief presentations that explore genre-based assignments taught by our presenters.  Anis Bawarshi will follow with a lunch talk, “Genre, Knowledge Transfer, and the Teaching of Writing: Challenges and Opportunities,” and afterward lead a workshop with breakout groups that will design genre-based assignments that facilitate transfer of knowledge. The goal for our program is that everyone will be able to produce something they can adapt or directly use in their own classrooms as well as share with others.  The program will be followed by a general meeting of PWPA; all members are encouraged to attend.

Anis Bawarshi is Professor of English and outgoing Director of the Expository Writing Program at the University of Washington. He also serves as series co-editor for Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition with Parlor Press and Program Profiles Editor for the journal Composition Forum, as well as on the editorial board of the journal College Composition and Communication. His publications include Genre: A Historical, Theoretical, and Pedagogical Introduction; Genre and the Invention of the Writer; Scenes of Writing: Strategies for Composing with Genres; A Closer Look: A Writer’s Reader; and articles and book chapters on genre, uptake, invention, and knowledge transfer in composition.  His current work is focused on knowledge transfer in composition as well as genre uptake and materiality. His co-edited book Ecologies of Writing Programs: Profiles of Writing Programs in Context is forthcoming with Parlor Press.  He is currently co-editing a book that examines genre and the performance of publics.

Anis’s presentation will describe recent developments in genre scholarship and teaching, examine key findings in knowledge transfer research, and explore how genres can be used to cultivate transferable writing skills.  Over the past 25 years, scholarship in genre studies has contributed a great deal to our understanding of how genres mediate social activities, providing insight into how systems of related genres coordinate ways of knowing and doing within recurring situations.  From this scholarship has emerged a view of genres as both social (typified, recognizable, and consequential ways of organizing texts, activities, and social reality) and cognitive phenomena (involved in how we recognize, encounter, and make sense of situations). Pedagogical approaches built on this scholarship have helped us reveal the social actions genres perform and demystify what might be called the “grammar” of genres in ways that allow students to learn genres more critically and effectively. More recently, genre scholars have begun to focus less on genre acquisition and more on genre awareness–helping students learn how to learn genres and how to take up their genre knowledge in new contexts.  Such a metacognitive understanding of genres can facilitate students’ transfer-ability of writing skills and knowledge in ways that align with research in writing knowledge transfer.

Call for Proposals

We hope that you will consider presenting at this session.  We’re looking for proposals for relatively brief presentations (10-15 minutes) focused on a genre-based assignment that you have taught, including its design, goals, implementation, intended and actual outcomes, strengths and weaknesses. Your presentation will provide ideas and possibly a template for breakout groups in the afternoon session.  Whether your genre assignment proved to be a glorious success or a dismal failure, please consider sharing!  All will help to ground our understanding of genre theory in action.  Please send your proposal (informal is fine!) to Val Ross:  vross@writing.upenn.edu

Directions & Other Information will be provided upon receipt of your RSVP. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Val Ross, University of Pennsylvania

Katie Gindlesparger, Philadelphia University/ PWPA Co-Chair

Liz Vogel, Arcadia University/ PWPA Co-Chair